Wilson’s Eye-to-Claw-to Beak series of ceramic and steel watchtowers are sourced from different cultures around the world…with strategically placed viewing slots to enable constant surveillance over a 360 degree radius. Looking at these works as objects endowed with the capacity for watching become symbolic totems of control, not unlike our CCTV-society where watching gives knowledge and knowledge is power but we wonder what might be done with that. With form so closely following function, Wilson’s omniscient watchtowers radiate with sinister desire.
A link can be made to philosopher Michel Foucault’s theorization of the panopticon. This term was first given by Jeremy Bentham in the late 18th century to his design of an all-seeing tower centrally located in a prison complex so inmates would believe they were being observed at all times, even if they weren’t. Foucault saw the panopticon as widely symbolic of forms of social power that function though vision to control people.
By entangling her viewers into these refracted networks of gazes, Wilson perhaps envisions a means to redress power relations by showing there is nowhere to hide for the oppressors of women.